Voting in the 2014 Reston Association Board of Directors election is now open. There are nine candidates running for five seats. A candidates forum will be held Saturday, March 15 at Reston Association headquarters at 10 a.m.
Reston Association members should have received an election guide and ballot in the mail last week.
Reston Now will have Q & As with each candidate running daily this week and next. In the spirit of fairness, each candidate was given the same questions.
Today’s Q & A is with Colin Mills, one of five candidates running for the three-year At-large seat.
Q: How long have you lived in Reston?
A: I am a lifelong Restonian. I grew up here, swimming in our pools, attending our summer camps, walking our trails to get baseball cards at the Tall Oaks Giant or candy at the Lakeside Pharmacy. I decided to stay in Reston after college because I treasure everything our community has to offer: environmental beauty, recreational amenities, ample shopping and dining options, and (hopefully) soon, the Metro as well. I love living in a well-planned, balanced, diverse community with such smart, engaged citizens.
Q: What inspired you to run for the board?
A: As RCA [Reston Citizens Association] president, I have worked productively with RA on a number of shared issues, from the protection of Reston National Golf Course to the revisions to Reston’s Master Plan. I’ve enjoyed interacting with the RA Board and staff on these issues, and I would like to work with them even more closely. With the change that’s likely coming to Reston in the years ahead, I want to help RA shape the community’s future. I decided that this is the time for me to step up and get involved.
Q: What are three of the biggest concerns you have for Reston?
A: 1) Managing and accommodating the growth that the Silver Line will bring. The revised Master Plan will allow a lot of new development in Reston, and we need to make sure that the new growth is well-integrated into our community. We need to find ways to mitigate the traffic on our streets, protect our environment and open spaces, provide amenities for our new residents and workers, and continue to provide a range of housing options.
2) Upgrading and maintaining our recreational infrastructure. Our facilities are aging, and the future growth is only going to place more demand on them. We need to find a way to provide the amenities RA members need without sending assessments through the roof. Developer contributions will play a role, but we’re also going to need to be creative in refurbishing, replacing, and repurposing our facilities.
3) Maintaining Reston’s spirit of community involvement. One of the keys to our success through the years has been our active residents, who helped build our community and make Bob Simon’s vision a reality. But the early generation of Restonians is getting ready to pass the torch, and we need a committed group of younger folks to pick it up. Our lives are busier than ever, but we need to work hard and stay involved if Reston is to remain a special place.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish by being on the board?
A: My No. 1 goal is to help RA address the challenges involved with the revised Master Plan. I want to help RA develop a process for handling the implementation of development and infrastructure around the station areas. I also would like to help RA work with the County and other stakeholders to develop a citizen-driven process for Phase 2 of the Master Plan study, focused on bringing our village centers closer to Bob Simon’s vision, protecting our existing residential neighborhoods, and developing Reston as a sustainable community.
My No. 2 goal is to improve RA’s two-way communication with the citizens. I’d like to see RA host more community forums on key issues, like the joint RA/RCA/ARCH forum on the Master Plan from last September. I’d also like RA to pursue new avenues for reaching the members where they are and making sure their opinions are heard.
Q: How will your personal or professional experience help you in your role with RA?
A: Living in Reston as long as I have, I have a deep sense of our history and the vision and values that make our community special. I also bring a young person’s perspective on Reston’s future and growth. My years with RCA have steeped me in local issues such as land use planning, transportation, parks and recreation, and accessibility. My time with RCA has also helped develop my skills as a leader and a consensus builder, finding common ground between diverse viewpoints for the good of the community. My tenure with RCC gave me experience in dealing with budgets and strategic planning. I’ve spent a lot of time over the last several years talking to and listening to Restonians, and I look forward to representing them on the RA Board.